Signpost to Otley Chevin

From lost pubs to prehistoric art…

Otley lends itself to walking, both in the magnificent surrounding countryside and in the town itself. Two of the most popular trails at the moment are the Ale Trail (we’re not sure why!) and the Chevin Forest Geology Trail. Otley Town Partnership, Otley BID, Otley Town Council and the Chamber of Trade are currently in the process of creating a number of new ‘trails’ – self-guided walks around the town and the surrounding area – and these will be uploaded here and featured in our news section.

Otley Ale Trail

Otley is a famous pub town with a surprising number of good pubs serving real ale and craft beer – in fact, it’s thought that at one point Otley had the highest number of pubs per capita in the country. Back then there were more than 30 establishments in the town, and while some of those are now gone, there are still more than 20 drinking holes in the town.

Otley Pub Club put together a fantastic ale trail around the pubs and bars of Otley, and includes current pubs and some of those that have been lost over the years but have some kind of historical significance.

The trail also outlines some of Otley’s pub history, including the ancient market laws that allowed there to be so many, and offers a handy map to help plot your way around.

The Ale Trail can be picked up at many of the town’s pubs and shops, or can be downloaded from the pub club website here.

Chevin Forest Park Geology Trail

Otley Chevin and the Wharfedale Valley were  carved millennia ago from Ice Age glaciers – and you can discover more about its long history by taking the Chevin Forest Park Geology Trail.

The trail includes a number of marker stones at which you can stop and read the relevant information about the geological features. The trail is designed to explain how the rocks and fossils of The Chevin were formed and to show how the landscape of the area is related to the rock types and geological processes that have taken place in the last 300 million years.

There is more geological information to be found on the interpretation board at Surprise View. Marker stones for each location were provided by Blackhill Quarry in Bramhope and carved by the local artist Shane Green, who is also the head of art at Prince Henry’s Grammar School in the town.. Each carving is related to the geological feature found at that location.

The trail comes in two parts that can be downloaded here and here. There’s also an accompanying downloadable audio trail.